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Abstract

Collective behavior based on self-organization has been observed in populations of animals from insects to vertebrates. These findings have motivated engineers to investigate approaches to control autonomous multi-robot systems able to reproduce collective animal behaviors, and even to collectively interact with groups of animals. In this article, we show collective decision making by a group of autonomous robots and a group of zebrafish, leading to a shared decision about swimming direction. The robots can also modulate the collective decision-making process in biased and non-biased experimental setups. These results demonstrate the possibility of creating mixed societies of vertebrates and robots in order to study or control animal behavior.

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